Both preceding articles provide a thoughtful exposition of a subject that is important and impinges broadly on the practice of internal medicine, family practice, and every other aspect of the practice of medicine.
In their discussion of the role of the internist in the care of the elderly patient, Papper and Reefe (p 2241) call for broad attention to the special needs of our aging population. The concerns of Papper and Reefe are focused primarily on the total human being who is beset not only with the acute and chronic illnesses that afflict all patients but also with the additional problems that are unique to the elderly, namely, the biologic problems of the aging process itself that progresses at faster or slower rates in different persons, and the special economic, sociologic, and political problems that the geriatric population faces. Essential in attending to these needs, according to Papper and Reefe,
Frohlich ED. Geriatric Medicine. Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(11):2244. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.04400020168027